thanks, google -- I can take it from here

im-back In recent months, I've taken a total hiatus from the blogging/social media*/online biz part of my life. Though at times I've felt guilty about not announcing anything about it more publicly ("will they think I'm a total flake?"), I'm pretty sure I was the only one worried about it. I also wondered if my unannounced vanishing act meant that really my heart just wasn't in this anymore. I waited for my Inner Wise Self to chime in on that, and boy did she take her sweet-ass time. (*for Waking Up in Wonder... still wasting plenty of time watching cat videos on my personal Facebook account.)

And then she started whispering just out of ear shot, until all the sudden I was paying close enough attention to hear: I DO miss this. A lot.

As some changes have been percolating recently in my life, I've felt an expansion in the time, space, and mental energy I have for different parts of my life. I'd certainly held down this fort (and others) when things were quite busy at work in the past, but to be honest, late last year I just started hitting a point of burnout where it felt like regardless how much free time I actually might have had, I had no energy to do much of anything with it.

Not so good when the therapist/coach starts to feel like the color is being drained out of life, eh?

Every month or so, I'd check in on the blog and make sure it was still around, that the internet gremlins hadn't gobbled it up in its weak, atrophied state (or perhaps more likely, I'd missed my domain name renewal email). I was surprised to see that people were still visiting, despite my lack of new content, guest posting, or sharing on social media. I guess that built-in SEO plugin really works, eh?

It's pretty cool to think that because of certain keywords people are typing in to the search bar, they're still finding my dusty little corner of the internet. There might be a few cobwebs here, but dammit, I'm proud of a lot of the content on here. (Just got a kick out of re-reading my post on Non-attachment, Materialism, & Naming Your Car. The Mouse is now over 226k and looking forward to a well-deserved 10th birthday cleaning & detailing this June!)

So, thanks Google.

I appreciate the fact that you (and um, I guess Bing & Yahoo?) have kept a few people trickling over here in the past few months. And as I go forward, I have to commit, for my own sanity, to be focused mostly on the content part of this and a smidge on the marketing, because trying to do all aspects on full throttle is still a little overwhelming to me.

I realize this post has been totally self-indulgent and probably not that helpful to you. But perhaps you relate to that passion that you let fall by the wayside, that guitar that's collecting dust in the corner, the sketchbook that's gone untouched for weeks or months or longer.

There doesn't have to be a burning bush moment. There wasn't for me, but gradually it became clear to me that I wanted this back in my life. If there's something similar in your life, let this be your gentle invitation back to it. That's all you need.

Looking forward to connecting — namaste, y'all.

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Valerie Martin

Valerie Martin, LMSW, is a Primary Therapist at The Ranch residential treatment center, where she works with eating disorders, addiction, trauma, and co-occurring mental health issues. Valerie focuses on a holistic treatment approach of mind + body integration, using Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), somatic and bioenergetic therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), psychodrama, 12-step, and shame resilience. She is also a Certified Sexual Addiction Therapist (CSAT) Candidate. Valerie received her Bachelor of Science degree in Communications and Master of Science degree in Clinical Social Work at the University of Texas in Austin. She is an active member of the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Nashville, and emphasizes spiritual exploration in her work with clients.